By Joanne Sales / Black Press
I was among 1,000 people who gathered in Nanaimo on Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, to take part in one of 673 Women’s Marches in 81 countries around the world.
While it was called a Women’s March, many men participated and the focus was broad — 4.8 million people marched, in peace.
After I showed the photos online of the massive crowds to my 12-year-old granddaughter, she said she was sorry that she hadn’t gone. These young people are smart; they know what is going on. So it’s important that they understand why people marched. So to these young women, I would say:
You may not have been there in person, but you are the reason why almost five million men and women marched together in streets around the world. Five million people care about you. Five million people are standing up for you, defending your rights and your dignity. You are beautiful, brilliant and important. Five million people believe in you.
The posters people carried at the marches ranged from humorous to powerful. ‘Don’t forget to turn your clocks back 300 years’, ‘Even the president is not above the law’, ‘Love trumps hate’, ‘If you don’t respect existence, expect resistance’, ‘Women’s rights are human rights’, ‘My daughters are not up for grabs’, ‘Men of quality support gender equality.’
We can’t fall for the prevailing rhetoric of division and hatred. If we can’t make it together, we’re not going to make it. Hatred may be fashionable in some circles, but it’s still wrong. Those who marched on January 21 want to protect the liberties, rights and future of our daughters and sons and all who are vulnerable. Now it is up to us to choose sides. One side is right.